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Free the freedom

05 Jun 2011
13.00 - 16.00

Lee Eun Young

Lee Eun Young (Pusan, South Korea, 1954) is a very special artist.
She works steady on an ever increasing oeuvre of great depth and impressive diversity.
Her artistic position is actually quite hard to describe as Eun Young’s attitude and oeuvre does not fit within any pigeonhole. She is a cross-over artist in the most sincere sense. In this respect her personal multicultural background and artistic identity might reflect this as well. Grown up in Korea, educated in Paris and working for quite some time now in The Netherlands, Eun Young produces original and non conformist, un-fashionable, lively and even humorous works with a most serious undertone.
Sometimes she takes position as a true autonomous artist, and then she feels quite well as an applied artist, fashion designer, poet and even performer. Creating and re-creating, based on a permanent search for identity, connections between now and then, here and there.

In her work Lee Eun Young goes back to her Korean, Confusianistic roots in which history, and especially family-history plays such an important role. In her assembly pieces she adds new layers to existing objects. That may be photographs from her personal past, ordinary everyday utensils of clothes. She revitalises these by various interventions. Elements in old photographs  are accentuated by adding contours or shades by pencil of with ink on transparent paper attached to the original picture.

Common appliances or objects (such as typewriters, bottles, toys, shoes or clothes, piggybanks) are covered up with leaf silver, foil, adhesive tape, needles and at one time even with margarine.

As an artist settled in The Netherlands, Eun Young shapes her personal history, past and present in an emotionally rich and most associative way. And not to forget, the enormous energy and pushing power she puts in her projects.

One of her last extraordinary and highly original projects is a series of installations, or rather inventions, in particular locations: the offices of Mayors of various Dutch cities. Offices that symbolize local history tradition and universal standards such as power and democracy: those offices are metaphors of public spaces that are usually kept closed and inaccessible for most inhabitants of those cities. With her objects, photo works, pieces of fashion or extravagant shoe-related designs intermingling with the usual rather formal office inventory Eun Young transforms these offices to subtle temporary installations: deranging, commenting, provocative, causing confusion and gaining praise.

Eun Young’s strength is her persistence and strict discipline, Together with her original mind and authentic talent to shape and reshape, forms this rich source with seems to produce a never-ending stream of personal, colourful, subtle and multilayered messages for the world. That makes her a very special and talented artist that deservers our interest and support.

Max Meijer
Former Director Museum of Modern Art Arnhem
Director of TiMe Amsterdam, art and heritage consultants
















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